East Sikkim- Pelling and Yuksom

20 Oct

I can’t really say much about Pelling- there is really nothing there to talk about except jaw-dropping views of the Himalaya. There are about 80 half-built hotels in Pelling, a testament to the hoards of Bengali tourists that infiltrate the town each spring to escape the heat of the plains. The half-built issue is a blight on the town and a direct cause of the incredible amount of money that India is putting into Sikkim. The government is giving low-interest loans to encourage development and tourism and greedy people are taking the loans- putting some of it into the start of a hotel and then skipping out with the remainder.

We spent an exceptional day walking to the Pemayangtse Monastery ( yes, another monastery) which was extremely beautiful and totally open to the public. The idols that were kept there were all incarnations of Guru Padmasambhava, the priest that converted Tibet to Buddhism. On the top floor of the monastery was an incredible seven-tiered carved wooden model of the abode of Padmasambhava complete with Buddhas, bodhisattva, dragons, animals, rainbows and buildings. It was built in five years by one man…an incredible achievement. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures, so you will have to go see it for yourself.

After the monastery, we walked down the road to the posh Elgin Mt. Pandim Hotel to have tea where we met an Australian man in his sixties named Ian who was managing the facilities.  He talked to us during tea and told us about the problems he was running into with people who do not have the same Western work ethic.  Ian introduced us to his wife (whose name I can’t recall) who also worked at the hotel and when we were ready to leave, he refused to let us pay, we were HIS guests!

The next day we took a Jeep to Yuksom and spent the day there before leaving Sikkim and going back to Kalimpong in India proper West Bengal.  We’re going to spend a couple days of rest and relaxation in a nice hotel in Kalimpong.

See you soon!


One Response to “East Sikkim- Pelling and Yuksom”

  1. Naresh Kumar Agarwal November 5, 2007 at 7:37 am #

    “going back to Kalimpong in India proper.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “India proper” here. Both Pelling in Sikkim and Kalimpong in West Bengal are in “India proper”. They just happen to be nearby towns in different states of India.

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